Jamshedpur, yet to recover from the shock of the Mango twin murders, witnessed yet another gun assault on Sunday night in which one person was injured.
Old rivalry reared its head when two aides of the Tilu Sardar gang shot at and grievously wounded 34-year-old Rakesh Dubey, who is also involved in criminal activities and heads the Pandey gang, near Nurses Building in Sonari.
Rakesh, who owns a garment shop and resides in a slum at Sonari’s Bair Jhabri, was waiting to buy food from a push-cart vendor when he was attacked around 10pm. The assailants, Gangesh Kallar and Babu Lodhi — both hailing from Tilu Bhatta — had also come to get food from the same push-cart. However, they disappeared for a while and reappeared only to fire at Rakesh from behind.
As Rakesh, who took one bullet on the back of his head, slumped to the grounds, the two fled towards Marine Drive. Local shopkeepers and others rushed a profusely bleeding Rakesh to Tata Main Hospital. According to hospital sources, the bullet was still lodged in the victim’s head.
Officer-in-charge of Sonari police station Sanjiv Kumar said that Rakesh himself had identified his attackers. “Rakesh, in his statement to us, said that those who fired at him were Gangesh Kallar and Babu Lodhi — both members of Tilu Sardar gang. The two gangs had been engaged in a bitter fight for the past two years,” Kumar added.
A month ago, Rakesh and his gang members had set six two-wheelers on fire in Sonari. He was later arrested and sent to Ghaghidih Central Jail. Only last week, Rakesh got bail and since then, the members of Tilu Sardar gang had been looking for him.
Soon after the shooting, police cordoned off the area and sealed Marine Drive. A company of Rapid Action Force has been deployed at Tilu Bhatta to prevent any backlash by Rakesh’s aides.
“Attempts are on to arrest the guilty. We had raided the residences of the accused at Tilu Bhata,” said the officer-in-charge.
Jamshedpur’s crime graph is soaring with every passing day. On January 1, bike-borne criminals shot dead two persons, including a newly married woman, while injuring a youth at Sankosai in Mango. Though the police have been able to arrest one member of the gang involved in the double murder, random attacks and robberies have terrorised the residents.